A couple of weeks ago I attended our local Rock and Mineral Show.  As always there was a good turnout of vendors selling rocks from all over the world.

Not all of the rocks were ethically and sustainably mined, but by doing a lot of digging (through boxes of rocks, that is) and asking many questions, I was able to find a good selection of fair trade (most found by small independent rock hounds) stones.

I always find myself more attracted to the rough cut slices of rock, rather than the polished cabochons.  I think that is because with the rough slices I feel one, or even more, steps closer to the earth.

I thought you might like to see some of the raw slices before I break them up, set them and make them into jewellery.

Top: Toritula Agate from Wyoming, U.S.A.                                                                                                                 Right: Larvakite from Norway
Bottom: Jasper from Oregon, U.S.A.
Left:  Fuschite from Timmins, Ontario, Canada
Center:  Pinite from Sudbury/Timmins area, Ontario, Canada     

And as always I purchased many rough slices containing raw silver from Tony, my favourite local rockhound.  He always patiently answers my endless questions, and tries hard to understand why I don't want to polish the slices I buy.  Here is an example of a pendant I made from part of a slice I previously purchased from him.

The shiny bits are pure silver!